Why Macs look like Porsches

I was having a surf around the net today, looking for some news to report to all of you Neowin viewers. I happened across a website called folklore.org which provides alleged real life accounts of some of the bigger events in the history of Apple.

The website, created in response to some individual's devotion "to collective historical storytelling. It captures and presents sets of related stories that describe interesting events from multiple perspectives, allowing groups of people to recount their shared history in the form of interlinked anecdotes. Currently, the Folklore site only supports a single project, about the development of the original Macintosh, but that will be changing soon. "

Amongst some of the other accounts by people who have worked closely in the Apple offices in the past is one which I read by a certain Mr Andy Hertsfeld, accompanied by a date of March 1981. The link to which can be found here. Within his anecdote he describes a situation he found himself in whilst working on some coding in Texaco Towers, however it was the office next to him, belonging to a man named Bud, where more interesting discussions were happening.

Hertsfield then describes a situation where Bud and Steve Jobs were discussing one of the original designs of the Macintosh casing. "It's got to be different, different from everything else, James is helping me figure out what the Mac should look like," Jobs told Hertsfield. According to the writer of this piece the pair then likened possible case design to sports cars. Further conversation ensued which I will now quote for you.

"We need it to have a classic look, that won't go out of style, like the Volkswagen Beetle", I heard Steve tell James.

"No, that's not right.", James replied. "The lines should be voluptuous, like a Ferrari."

"Not a Ferrari, that's not right either", Steve responded, apparently excited by the car comparison. "It should be more like a Porsche!" Not so coincidentally, in those days Steve was driving a Porsche 928.

Whilst not any particular news of relevance, this account, assuming its validity, gives a really interesting insight into some of the design processes adopted by the early Apple crew in Texaco Towers. The reasons why people who dismiss Macs as merely 'pretty' are obviously unfounded due to the dismissal of the creative processes which are gone through to ensure the product was, in the words of Jobs: "different from everything else". This is the reason why the Macs we have today are designed in such a way as to stand out. Much like a Porsche.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Firefox 3.5 Release Candidate 2 released

Next Story

Samsung takes aim at Passport security

60 Comments - Add comment